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Ice Cream Shops - US - December 2009

This report explores the ice cream shop market—identifying key developments that are changing consumer habits and usage with consideration of the current economic climate and competitive threats.

The report considers a range of topics, including the following:

  • The size of the market and its potential for growth
  • Opportunities for ice cream shops to maximize their exposure and cultivate a stronger following
  • The impact of competitive threats (packaged ice cream, foodservice desserts, other treat-based snacks) on ice cream shops
  • The impact of the recession on restaurants, and in particular, ice cream shops
  • The effect of demographic shifts (age, Hispanic origin/race and presence of children in HH) on the industry
  • Key brands, how they are endeavoring to differentiate themselves, who they target, and plans for retail expansion
  • Advertising and promotional strategies being employed to attract consumers, including a focus on social media
  • Innovations among ice cream shops that take a traditional approach (seasonal inspirations, fun) and straddle health and indulgence (flavor exploration, wellness positioning)

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Mintel Menu Insights
              • Consumer survey data
                • Advertising creative
                  • Abbreviations and terms
                    • Abbreviations
                      • Terms
                      • Executive Summary

                        • Ice cream shops are not recession proof
                          • Affordable indulgences abound, creating significant competition
                            • Influential demographics—age, race/Hispanic origin, and children
                              • Opportunity: DIY ice cream
                                • Leading ice cream shops
                                  • Ice cream shop analysis
                                    • Dairy Queen—a top ice cream shop restaurant brand
                                      • Baskin-Robbins—the traditional ice cream shop
                                        • Cold Stone Creamery—a super-premium player
                                          • Brand qualities
                                            • Advertising and promotion activity
                                              • Ice cream shop innovators and innovations
                                                • Ice cream usage and purchase locations
                                                  • Who goes to ice cream shops… and what are they buying?
                                                    • Driving ice cream shop visits
                                                      • When consumers decide to go to an ice cream shop
                                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Yin and Yang—desires for health and indulgence
                                                            • Maximizing appeal through co-branding and tiered branding
                                                              • Get radical with flavor
                                                                • Ice cream… not just for dessert any more!
                                                                  • Opportunity: DIY ice cream
                                                                      • Figure 1: Interest in making own ice cream treat at ice cream shop, by select demographics, October 2009
                                                                  • Inspire Insights

                                                                      • Trend: Premium and Cutthroat
                                                                        • What it’s about: The coexistence of premium and value
                                                                          • Levels of success define level of treat
                                                                            • A balancing act
                                                                              • Trend Observation: Unfrozen Ice Cream
                                                                                • What it’s about: Innovation in product form
                                                                                  • Playing with food
                                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Ice cream shops are not recession proof
                                                                                        • The positive…
                                                                                          • …the negative
                                                                                            • The future of ice cream shops
                                                                                              • Ice cream store sales and forecast
                                                                                                • Figure 2: Total U.S. systemwide sales of top six ice cream shop chains, at current prices, 2005-13
                                                                                                • Figure 3: Total U.S. systemwide sales of top six ice cream shop chains, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2005-13
                                                                                            • Competitive Context

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Packaged ice cream—the biggest threat
                                                                                                  • QSRs ramping up ice cream treats on the menu
                                                                                                    • Figure 4: Ice cream menu offerings, by restaurant segment, Q3 2006-09
                                                                                                    • Figure 5: Sonic, Sonic Sundaes ad, June 2009
                                                                                                  • Alternative affordable treats
                                                                                                      • Figure 6: Krispy Kreme, Doughnut Sundae ad, June 2009
                                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                                    • Consumers still watchful of spending out at restaurants
                                                                                                      • Figure 7: Restaurant Performance Index, current situation, and expectations, May 2007-July 2009
                                                                                                    • Shattered consumer confidence reigns in spending during 2008
                                                                                                        • Figure 8: Consumer Sentiment Index, by quarter, 2001-09
                                                                                                      • Aging population not favorable for ice cream shops
                                                                                                          • Figure 9: Population aged 18 or older, 2004-14
                                                                                                        • Ice cream shop usage strong among the fastest growing ethnic groups
                                                                                                            • Figure 10: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2004-14
                                                                                                          • Kids vital to ice cream shop sales
                                                                                                            • Figure 11: Households by presence of children, 1998-2008
                                                                                                        • Leading Companies

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Culver’s delivering strong growth by defining the brand
                                                                                                              • Cold Stone Creamery sales plummet in recession
                                                                                                                  • Figure 12: U.S. sales of top ice cream shop chains, 2006-08
                                                                                                                • Sales of other ice cream shops
                                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Worldwide systemwide sales for leading ice cream shops, 2008
                                                                                                                • Unit growth declining incrementally
                                                                                                                  • Figure 14: U.S. systemwide units for leading ice cream shops, 2006-08
                                                                                                              • Ice Cream Shop Analysis: Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                • Overview
                                                                                                                  • Jumping on the value menu bandwagon
                                                                                                                    • Actively pursuing unique promotional strategies
                                                                                                                      • Engaging in social media
                                                                                                                        • Mobile messaging
                                                                                                                          • Virtual branding
                                                                                                                            • Ethnic opportunities
                                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Dairy Queen usage, by selected demographics, April 2008-June 2009
                                                                                                                            • Ice Cream Shop Analysis: Baskin-Robbins

                                                                                                                              • Overview
                                                                                                                                • Revitalizing the brand with soft serve
                                                                                                                                  • Adding health to strengthen appeal to all consumer preferences
                                                                                                                                    • Promoting the importance of branded mix-ins
                                                                                                                                      • Express expansion plans
                                                                                                                                      • Ice Cream Shop Analysis: Cold Stone Creamery

                                                                                                                                        • Overview
                                                                                                                                          • Innovations: Value price point and co-branding
                                                                                                                                            • Ice cream cupcakes—innovative and quality indulgence
                                                                                                                                              • Reshaping the gourmet coffee trend
                                                                                                                                                • Co-branding for innovative texture
                                                                                                                                                  • Seeking growth through co-branding retail expansion
                                                                                                                                                  • Brand Qualities

                                                                                                                                                    • Overview
                                                                                                                                                      • The traditional ice cream shop
                                                                                                                                                        • Baskin-Robbins—classic variety
                                                                                                                                                          • Carvel—ice cream cake fun
                                                                                                                                                            • Bruster’s—keeping it real
                                                                                                                                                              • Blurring the lines: Ice cream shop and fast food
                                                                                                                                                                • Super-premium ice cream shops
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cold Stone Creamery—the “ultimate” experience
                                                                                                                                                                    • MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery—appealing to kids and adults
                                                                                                                                                                      • Marble Slab Creamery—chef-driven vision
                                                                                                                                                                        • Häagen-Dazs—pure and simple
                                                                                                                                                                          • Ben & Jerry’s—ethical ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                            • Blurring the lines: Ice cream shop and CPG ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                              • The hybrid: Ice cream shop restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                • Dairy Queen—ice cream and burgers
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Braum’s—doing it all
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Friendly’s—full-service difference
                                                                                                                                                                                      • “Better-for-you” indulgences
                                                                                                                                                                                        • TCBY—ice cream alternative
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Freshëns—natural and fresh
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Paciugo Gelato—ethnically authentic
                                                                                                                                                                                              • The next wave—lifestyle brands
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ad spending for leading ice cream shops
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Top ice cream shop advertisers, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Promotions to drive planned purchases
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Free—or nearly free—ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Marble Slab, Free Father’s Day Ice Cream ad, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Promoting the essence of the brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Brand quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Braum’s, Candy Bar Sundaes ad, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Signature products
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Dairy Queen, Tagalong Blizzard ad, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Utilizing social media
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Seasonal inspirations
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Leveraged with limited time offer
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ice cream fun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fun for kids…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …and adults too!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Flavor explorations create indulgence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Provenance positioning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ethnic inspiration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Coffee-flavored treats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Health and wellness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Functional yogurt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Healthy indulgences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ice Cream Usage and the Ice Cream Shop User

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Types of ice cream treats used
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Usage of ice cream-type treats, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Supermarkets are lead destination for ice cream purchases
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Source of ice cream-type treat purchases, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ice cream shop users
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Ice cream shop usage, by select demographics October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Leading Ice Cream Shops Used

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Avid ice cream users gravitate to premium ice cream shops
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Leading ice cream shops used, by age, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Leading ice cream shops used, by HH income, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Households with kids drive usage of all types of ice cream shops
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Leading ice cream shops used, by presence of children in HH, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • What’s Ordered at Ice Cream Shops

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Core 18-34 consumer group prefer smoothies and sodas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Item ordered at ice cream shop, by age, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Households with kids more likely to order food and cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Item ordered at ice cream shop, by presence of children in HH, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Reasons for Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Older consumers “treat” themselves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Reasons to visit ice cream shops, by age, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Parents driven to ice cream shops as a treat for the kids
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Reasons to visit ice cream shops, by presence of children in HH, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Factors Influencing Choice of Ice Cream Shop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Men place more importance on brand name mix-ins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: “Important” reasons for selecting an ice cream shop, by gender, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Over 65s show a preference for simple quality, variety, and service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: “Important” reasons for selecting an ice cream shop, by age, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kids want ice cream and candy too
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: “Important” reasons for selecting an ice cream shop, by presence of children in HH, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes and Behaviors: Sampling and Flavor Preference

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumers take advantage of sampling opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Attitudes and behaviors of ice cream shop users, by age, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Highest income earners most likely to buy a flavor as a result of sampling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Attitudes and behaviors of ice cream shop users, by HH income, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes and Behaviors: When Decision Is Made

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • When decision is made to go to ice cream shop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Older consumers are more likely to plan a trip to the ice cream shop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: When decision to visit an ice cream/frozen yogurt shop is made, by age, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lowest income households most impulsive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: When decision to visit an ice cream/frozen yogurt shop is made, by HH income, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Asians favor healthy ice cream-type treats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Usage of ice cream-type treats, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Items ordered at ice cream shop, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Asians and Hispanics show strong usage across brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Leading ice cream shops used, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Black consumers say customization and variety of toppings are important
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: “Important” reasons for selecting an ice cream shop, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Asians like to sample ice cream flavors
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Attitudes and behaviors of ice cream shop users, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Treaters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Impulsives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Providers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Ice cream shop clusters, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Reasons to visit ice cream shops, by ice cream shop clusters, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Attitudes and behaviors of ice cream shop users, by ice cream shop clusters, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: “Important” reasons for selecting an ice cream shop, by ice cream shop clusters, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Ice cream shop clusters, by gender, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Ice cream shop clusters by age, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Ice cream shop clusters, by HH income, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Ice cream shop clusters, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Custom Consumer Tables—Dads and Moms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Dads are more inclined to order healthy treats…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Items ordered at ice cream shop, moms and dads, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …but sampling provides opportunity to encourage usage among moms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Attitudes and behaviors of ice cream shop users, dads and moms, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dads driven by impulse making them more likely to visit any ice cream shop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Leading ice cream shops used, moms and dads, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: When decision to visit an ice cream/frozen yogurt shop is made, dads and moms, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dads’ good mood provides reason to visit ice cream shop; moms treat others
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Reasons to visit ice cream shops, dads and moms, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Moms appreciate variety and customization, while dads like branded products and DIY option
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: “Important” reasons for selecting an ice cream shop, dads and moms, October 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • National and international associations:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Regional associations:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • American Dairy Association & Dairy Council (Mid Atlantic)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Arby's Restaurant Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Bain Capital LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Berkshire Hathaway Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Bruster's Real Ice Cream, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cadbury Schweppes Americas Confectionery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Carvel Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cliff Freeman and Partners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Coca-Cola Company (The) (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cold Stone Creamery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Costco Wholesale Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dunkin' Brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Flickr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Food Distributors International
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • GE Capital
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Häagen-Dazs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hershey Company, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Dairy Foods Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Franchise Association (IFA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kahala Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Marble Slab Creamery, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • MARC USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Mars Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Midland Dairy Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Midwest Dairy Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Cheese Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Yogurt Association (NYA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Natural Products Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Nestlé USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • New England Dairy & Food Council
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Northeast Fresh Foods Alliance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Orange Julius of America
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Organic Trade Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pizza Hut Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Reuters Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • SAM's Club
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Sonic Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • The American Dairy Association & Dairy Council Mid East
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tim Hortons (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tops
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Unilever USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • USA Today
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Western Dairy Council

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ice Cream Shops - US - December 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)